Like sexist ads and biting athletes, Trump’s orders deserve zero tolerance
What do Burger King, “Suárez the Biter” and Donald Trump have in common? All say they want and love babies but don’t take good care of them.
Burger King ultimately did apologize for offering a lifetime supply of Whoppers to Russian women impregnated by World Cup players.
The chain promised 3 million rubles and free food to “girls who manage to get the best football genes” and “lay down the success of the Russian national football team.”
Nuance was not lost in translation.
“We believe in you!” the advertisement exclaimed, falling on the heels of an ad last year that used the likeness of a teenage rape victim to promote a buy-one-get-one-free burger offer. Oops! Prosti. (That’s “sorry” in Russian)
And there’s “The Biter,” Uruguay striker Luis Suárez, who apologized for biting an opponent in a World Cup soccer match in 2014, his third on-field biting incident. Initially Suárez adamantly denied it happened – despite the obvious and unmistakable physical evidence of a bite mark. Suárez said he “fell” into Chiellini – by accident. Suarez insisted he did not bite Chiellini – and then his story changed.
“After several days of being home with my family, I have had the opportunity to regain my calm and reflect about the reality of what occurred during the Italy-Uruguay match,” Suárez said in a statement posted on his Twitter account.
“The truth,” he continued, “is that my colleague Giorgio Chiellini suffered the physical result of a bite in the collision he suffered with me. For this: I deeply regret what occurred. I apologize to Giorgio Chiellini and the entire football family. I vow to the public that there will never again be another incident like (this).”
Biting a person is not legal and some would say is utterly disgusting and barbaric, let alone unsanitary. Sinking one’s teeth in another’s flesh to inflict harm, instill fear and gain advantage in a sporting event is outside the bounds of decency, some might argue. But Suárez apologized, on Twitter, so it’s cool. He’s moved on. Forgive and forget – and how about that goal of his against Saudi Arabia that is taking Uruguay to the final 16 matches of the World Cup, huh? Pretty amazing!
And afterward he announced his wife is pregnant. “The Biter” is going to have his third child. Why is there zero tolerance for migrant families escaping violence while we suffer the insanity, foolishness and lawbreaking of practically everyone on television?
The Trump policy of “zero tolerance” is blamed for the separation of over 2,300 children from their parents who are now reportedly housed around the country in unknown locations run by for-profit corporations.
Everyone caught crossing the border gets prosecuted as a criminal; therefore, children have to be separated from the “criminals” who gave birth to and are trying to save their lives. Nobody is above the law, in other words. Children, be damned. If they don’t want to get separated from their children they shouldn’t cross the border illegally, the argument goes.
The fatal flaw in this otherwise shallow argument is the assumption there exists a better alternative for the overwhelming majority of these families. They are running for their lives as if a raging forest fire is chasing them – except instead of leaping flames licking at their back, it’s a wave of violence and brutality bearing down on their family.
The command by Trump to prosecute fleeing migrant families without regard for the cost and harm caused to children was not frivolous or a mistake, just like the repeated repugnant Russian Burger King ads are not mistakes. It’s his schtick – his brand – and his flip-flop of the facts is now to be expected.
Trump knowingly caused the explosion of outrage and heartache that etched images of crying babies in cages on our minds for the same reason The Biter bites. It’s gruesome and instills fear and uncertainty in opponents.
Trump’s plan, for the moment, is to house 20,000 migrant kids separated from their parents on U.S. military bases in Texas and Arkansas. What could possibly go wrong? America’s commander in chief is known for his hospitality around the world. The first lady can make the rounds to the camps and give the tormented children the same speech she gave to the kids in Texas on Thursday:
“Be kind and nice to others, OK? Nice to meet you.”
Executives at Russian Burger King choose a brand that is demeaning and sexist knowingly to showcase power. Suárez the Biter, uses his superstar soapbox to showcase the epitome of poor sportsmanship and cruelty, and Trump is needlessly causing immense anguish and chaos with executive orders directing zero tolerance at the border.
How about we take better care of our kids and save zero tolerance for drivers who don’t stop for red lights and athletes and business moguls who flout the law?
As published in the Portland Press Herald